'BOREALIS RISING' - A Subnautica Story V2.0.

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  • TenebrousNovaTenebrousNova England Join Date: 2015-12-23 Member: 210206Members Posts: 640 Advanced user
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,068 Advanced user
    edited August 2018
    One final detail requires my immediate attention.

    As far as we can determine, Damocles won't be crumbling apart any time in the foreseeable future. The detonation shockwave propagated poorly in the planet's thin atmosphere, barely ruffling its dusty surface. Cutty Sark has completed its fourth and final orbit, and a fresh complement of recon probes have been deployed. Initial data indicates a successful EMP strike, although I won't be breaking out the bubbly just yet. There's still a cache of those wee horrors inside the Precursor containment facility, and I aim to put an end to them. That's one less thing to lose sleep over, even though those nanites are safely confined to a theoretically secure container.

    It's the 'theoretically secure' part that concerns me. I believe it's only a matter of time before someone conjures a way to crack open that Pandora's Box, and we're back to square one. I'd rather nip this situation in the bud.

    Like most bright ideas, inspiration came from a totally unexpected direction. I haven't spoken to Héloise for the best part of a fortnight, and she might have some choice words to say about that. Given her... delicate condition, it comes as no real surprise that a wee tinge of emotional colour has crept into some of our conversations. Nowadays, she has a fair temper about her, and that's something best addressed with frequent back-rubs, chocolate éclairs and a soothing tone of voice.

    However, I digress.

    As I mulled over an ever-increasing probability of Héloise decapitating me with her Guardian's Knot, my mind wandered back to an unfortunate incident aboard Aurora. Only three weeks out from Gateway Station, a newly-wed couple ran into a spot of bother. Harsh words were exchanged, certain persons were accused of monkey-shines with another monkey's monkey... You get the basic picture. Anyway, at a certain point in this howling mess, someone's PDA ended up in a microwave oven.

    One thousand Watts and one extremely messy punch-up later, there wasn't much point in retrieving their semi-precious wedding memories. Apparently, the honeymoon footage also included rather more participants than the other partner considered appropriate at the time.

    I reckon five kilowatts should do the job quite nicely. Those display cases are completely transparent to our scanner beams, so it's a safe bet that microwave radiation will pass through this material just as easily. All I need now is a couple of minutes and a Fabricator terminal.

    Disco Volante's headlights threw a shimmering silver tapestry upon the walls of the containment facility's moon pool. Barely audible over the gently lapping water below, I could hear the steady tic-tic-tic of Precursor drones scurrying to and fro in the central atrium. The maser cannon felt bulky and awkward in my hands, since most of its fifty-kilo mass is centred on a large shielded magnetron and a pair of ion power cells sitting atop a rudimentary pistol grip. Its muzzle is a basic assembly of three concentric aluminium tubes acting as waveguides. It's not the most elegant design I've ever concocted, although there's little doubt that it will function precisely as intended.

    If not, there's always Plan B... One of Doc Zelenka's 'fun-sized' boxes of boom. Yield: 0.001 kilotons.
    Normally used as a first stage fusion initiator in megaton-yield thermonuclear devices.

    She calls them 'kittens'.

    I depressed the weapon's firing stud. A deep, booming hum filled the echoing space around me. I swept its beam over the case methodically, top to bottom, then side to side. The hazy grey-green film in the sealed chamber sparked and flared like a bonsai fireworks display.


    The ultimate irony of Ultimate Weapons: They are invariably the last thing that a civilization creates.
    Post edited by Bugzapper on
    0x6A7232TenebrousNovabaronvonsatanTheCreeperCow
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,068 Advanced user
    edited July 2018
    Another milestone has passed. Borealis is ready to leave her construction gantry.

    I conjure this is the most appropriate time to christen the hull, officially marking her first day in what I trust will be a long and highly distinguished career. The Belters are in particularly high spirits, since this ceremony also marks their first day aboard Borealis. An actual step taken on their long journey home. Suffice it to say, every detail of this momentous occasion has been meticulously planned; a dazzling spectacle that has been months in the making. As you'd rightly expect, these proceedings will include stirring music, rousing speeches and all manner of multicultural pomp and circumstance, well-lubricated with insane quantities of exotic foods and alcohol.

    It's traditional.

    "Sir, you're humming again." JUNO murmured confidentially. "Naturally, I'm well aware that this charming mannerism of yours generally indicates either good humour, intense concentration or precedes the evolution of an unpleasant situation... Is there a problem, Sir? Just checking."

    I grinned. She knows me far too well.

    "Nothing's gone awry, Lass." I chuckled. "This is like Christmas for me. I'm living in the moment."

    "I'm extremely relieved to hear that, Sir." JUNO replied. "It's time."

    I activated the topside PA system. The assembled crowd turned their faces expectantly in response.

    "Ladies, Gentlemen and esteemed guests. This is Borealis launch control. All systems are now go for launch. Please direct your attention to the area outlined by marker buoys at the western end of the island. Borealis will commence surfacing in 60 seconds. Thank you."

    "Right we are, then. All stations, stand to and confirm your readiness." I announced briskly.

    DIGBY: "Structural integrity is go."

    IANTO: "Buoyancy control is go."

    JUNO: "Mooring control is go."

    "The vessel now stands ready in all respects, Sir. We are clear to proceed." JUNO reported.

    "Thank you, Commander. Execute launch sequence."

    Only 10 metres of water separates Borealis from her true element. The intervening air is merely a brief inconvenience to be traversed at high speed. Rising at one metre per second, the ship's conn module broke surface in a dazzling explosion of spray, fittingly adorned with an auspicious rainbow. Above us, the Belters raised a thunderous cheer, spontaneously breaking into a lusty chorus of 'Drunken Spacer'. I had intended to broadcast something traditional and highly dignified over the PA, although the Belters neatly took over at the crucial moment. A typically irreverent Belter response to ostentatious displays of Flatlander pomposity. Can't say as I'm entirely unhappy about it, either.

    When all is said and done, that rough and ready shanty of theirs suits the occasion perfectly.

    What shall we do with the drunken Spacer?
    What shall we do with the drunken Spacer?
    What shall we do with the drunken Spacer, ear-ly in the morning?
    Kick her out the airlock 'til she's sober
    Kick her out the airlock 'til she's sober
    Kick her out the airlock 'til she's sober, ear-ly in the morning!

    Hoo-rah and up She rises!
    Hoo-rah and up She rises!
    Helm Horrors, sirens blaring, ear-ly in the morning!

    What can I say? It's traditional.
    0x6A7232TenebrousNovabaronvonsatanTheCreeperCow
  • SCUBA_PROSCUBA_PRO Join Date: 2018-08-05 Member: 242683Members Posts: 2 Fully active user
  • SCUBA_PROSCUBA_PRO Join Date: 2018-08-05 Member: 242683Members Posts: 2 Fully active user
  • Q_bertQ_bert inactivelavart Join Date: 2018-05-08 Member: 240607Members Posts: 138 Advanced user
    This story and its prequel are some of the best stories I’ve ever read. Seriously.
    Don’t steal my plants.
    0x6A7232baronvonsatan
  • Alrekr_IronhandAlrekr_Ironhand New Hampshire, US Join Date: 2016-03-22 Member: 214677Members Posts: 106 Advanced user
    @Bugzapper, not to nitpick or anything, but ... I've just done a catch-up after a couple of completely insane months at work (let's just say corporate merger), and I couldn't help noticing that a couple of the last three or four updates had a few discrepancies of tense and voice.

    For example:
    I swept its beam over the case methodically, top to bottom, then side to side. The hazy grey-green film in the sealed chamber suddenly sparks and flares like a bonsai fireworks display.
    Shouldn't that be 'sparked and flared'?
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,068 Advanced user
    @Bugzapper, not to nitpick or anything, but ... I've just done a catch-up after a couple of completely insane months at work (let's just say corporate merger), and I couldn't help noticing that a couple of the last three or four updates had a few discrepancies of tense and voice.

    For example:
    I swept its beam over the case methodically, top to bottom, then side to side. The hazy grey-green film in the sealed chamber suddenly sparks and flares like a bonsai fireworks display.
    Shouldn't that be 'sparked and flared'?

    Fixed. (Good thing I'm not writing in the style of ee cummings, eh?)

    Ah, the manifold joys of running a live-to-air serial. ;)
    0x6A7232
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,068 Advanced user
    Kids. They really do say the damnedest things.

    In recognition of their immense contribution to the construction effort, I let the colonists decide who would christen Borealis. After all, it's going to be as much their home as ours for the next nine or so months, and they have every right to feel justly proud of this achievement. I don't begrudge them one iota. However... One of those particularly awkward moments has occurred, and judging by the horrified gasps that rose from the colonists, this situation may require slightly more effort than a good-natured shrug and an embarrassed smile. Eight-year olds demand to know the absolute truth.

    Our wee Noriko Mori has just asked me if I'm really a ghost, because her brother Kenzo told her so. According to him, I'm actually a robot-ghost or a ghost-robot, which makes me an entirely different class of supernatural creature, apparently. Yūrei, or quite possibly Obakemono, depending on how one might regard my overall behaviour. I winced inwardly, painfully aware that some of my earlier actions may have veered just a smidgen over the 'Vengeful Spirit' side of life's balance sheet.

    I knelt slowly, bringing my face level with hers. To Noriko's credit, her wide-eyed stare never faltered.
    After muting the PA function on our PDAs, I took a deep breath and carefully began my explanation. I'm guessing that this sort of thing doesn't happen at your average ship's christening.

    "I'm not really a ghost, Noriko." I murmured. "I'm just a man who has lived a very long time. One day, my old body simply stopped working. I died. My friends JUNO, IANTO and DIGBY missed me so much that they took a copy of all my thoughts, and made a new body for my thoughts to live inside."

    Noriko's face lit up with excitement. "Like Tetsuwan Atomu? - He's my favourite robot! Kawaii!"

    "Yes, exactly like Tetsuwan Atomu, except that I can't fly without a spaceship." I grinned impishly, dropping to a whisper. "And I don't have a machinegun in my bum, either. That would be so cool!"

    Noriko giggled, clapping her hands gleefully. "Why don't you make one, Captain-san? You could fight those nasty Reapers while you're swimming away from them!"

    How about... No? Astro Boy definitely wins this round.

    Now that Noriko and I have an understanding of sorts, we can proceed with the business at hand.

    "Do you know what's so special about today, Noriko?"

    "It's my Life Day today, Captain-san! Oh, and that big ship came up from the water, didn't it?"

    "Well, that makes today even more special, doesn't it? Because it's your Life Day, you've been chosen to give our new ship her name... Don't worry, I've put all the words you'll need to say into your PDA. After that, you'll get to smash a bottle on the ship's front end. It's a very important job."

    Noriko gazed critically at the immense bulk of Borealis, two hundred metres distant.

    "I-I can't throw it that far, Captain-san." She admitted glumly. "Can you get me closer to the ship?"

    I smiled broadly. "I've got something here to help you. Have you ever seen one of these before?"

    "I think so. On the island, grown-ups use those to pick up the crawly things and throw them into the sea, but they always come back. Do you want me to throw the bottle with that gun, Captain-san?"

    "Yes, but you'll have to be very careful when the gun is holding the bottle. Don't point the gun at anything but the ship. Do you think you can do this, Noriko? Don't be ashamed to ask me for help."

    With those fateful last words, Noriko's wavering expression took on a grimly determined set that would have swelled a samurai's heart. Challenge accepted.

    All perfectly safe, of course. I'm in complete control of the propulsion cannon's systems.

    "On behalf of all here who made her, I name this ship Borealis. Bless and protect all who sail in her."

    Bullseye.


    Au revoir, Moët et Chandon 2165. Bonjour, Borealis!
    0x6A7232Q_bertbaronvonsatanTheCreeperCow
  • Q_bertQ_bert inactivelavart Join Date: 2018-05-08 Member: 240607Members Posts: 138 Advanced user
    Just a quick question, how exactly do the cave crawlers get onto the island? They can only jump a few meters, and the island is about 200 meters off the seabed, with nothing attaching it to the ground. Do reefbacks go to the bottom, pick up a ton of them, and deliver them topside or do they use magical space powers to manipulate gravity in their sole mission to annoy everyone?
    Don’t steal my plants.
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,068 Advanced user
    Q_bert wrote: »
    Just a quick question, how exactly do the cave crawlers get onto the island? They can only jump a few meters, and the island is about 200 meters off the seabed, with nothing attaching it to the ground. Do reefbacks go to the bottom, pick up a ton of them, and deliver them topside or do they use magical space powers to manipulate gravity in their sole mission to annoy everyone?

    Three possible explanations... 1. Cave Crawlers have a free-swimming larval stage. They find their way to the floating islands and use them for shelter until they metamorphose into their land-dwelling form. 2. The Precursor portals are still operating, since Selkirk hasn't found it necessary to shut them down. 3. Cave Crawlers are at least as organized as ants, and may have equally disproportionate physical strength relative to their size. They could easily form living chains and ascend to the surface, although the numbers required for this feat would be staggering. My least favourite hypothesis, incidentally. :)
    Q_bertMaalteromm0x6A7232
  • jehrekjehrek Join Date: 2017-11-22 Member: 234080Members Posts: 7 Fully active user
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 475 Advanced user
    @Bugzapper
    Congratulations on the new job!

    The only thing I miss about commuting is reading books, I used to read a lot and now there's barely any time for it. Unless you're driving, stuck in the worst of both worlds: having to commute and not getting to relish that time (unless you deeply enjoy driving).
    Bugzapper
  • derf213derf213 Join Date: 2016-12-06 Member: 224632Members Posts: 9 Fully active user
    Maalteromm wrote: »
    @Bugzapper
    Congratulations on the new job!

    The only thing I miss about commuting is reading books, I used to read a lot and now there's barely any time for it. Unless you're driving, stuck in the worst of both worlds: having to commute and not getting to relish that time (unless you deeply enjoy driving).

    Audiobooks man
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 475 Advanced user
    derf213 wrote: »
    Maalteromm wrote: »
    @Bugzapper
    Congratulations on the new job!

    The only thing I miss about commuting is reading books, I used to read a lot and now there's barely any time for it. Unless you're driving, stuck in the worst of both worlds: having to commute and not getting to relish that time (unless you deeply enjoy driving).

    Audiobooks man

    It's not the same. If you're driving you need to concentrate. So you can't just finish that amazing sentence, lean your head back and cherish/think hard on it.

    And in my case, audiobooks won't do either. I walk to work in less than 10min and can't listen there. When not working I'm chasing/tending to my kids, so no listening there either. What free time I get goes into studying or gaming.
  • NauticalFishNauticalFish America Join Date: 2018-09-21 Member: 243687Members Posts: 3 Fully active user
    Bugzapper wrote: »

    She panicked.
    poor girl
    i can only imagine her running through the ship screaming " Captain Selkirk is dead!"
  • NauticalFishNauticalFish America Join Date: 2018-09-21 Member: 243687Members Posts: 3 Fully active user
    edited October 2018
    And its good to be back. and this is a good story Bugzy
    0x6A7232
  • TigerTomTigerTom Join Date: 2018-02-27 Member: 238363Members Posts: 44 Advanced user
    It’s been so long, but I’m BACK! Btw, awesome story Bug, and I wish I could write a millionth as well as you. You should really publish this.
    Bugzapper’s Awesome Subnautica Books:
    Book 1 | Book 2
    My Subnautica Fanfic: LINK
    Bugzapper
  • JAZZYFORSUBNAUTICAJAZZYFORSUBNAUTICA Join Date: 2018-05-01 Member: 240453Members Posts: 12 Fully active user
    great story you do know da wai
  • JAZZYFORSUBNAUTICAJAZZYFORSUBNAUTICA Join Date: 2018-05-01 Member: 240453Members Posts: 12 Fully active user
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,068 Advanced user
    edited October 2018
    Scarcely a heartbeat away from utter pandemonium, JUNO's hologram appeared on the bridge.

    "Anya... Don't. Please step away from that console."

    Anya froze at JUNO's terse command, her trembling hand poised above the master alarm panel. Fortunately, the ship's JUNO core AI has been monitoring the situation and has acted accordingly. We're in no position to sever our four-way cyberlink right now, owing to the massive complexity of this task. By the time we're done here, Borealis will be fully automated, right down to remotely flushing the ship's heads, should we ever need to. Setting up this capability has been a mighty ticklish business thus far, and we're still at least six hours away from finishing the job. If Anya had triggered that alarm, every soul onboard would have bolted straight for the evacuation pods, since that's the default emergency response at this stage. An entirely sensible precaution for any vessel being commissioned for service. For the record, we are going to program a more flexible set of emergency responses into the system, once everything is online and under full cybernetic control.

    "Technician Kotova, I assure you that the command crew are unharmed and fully operational. They are currently unable to respond, and cannot be interrupted during this systems calibration procedure. They will remain in this state until the task has been completed. Please remain calm."

    Anya exhaled raggedly, shaking her head slowly. "I'm an idiot. I forgot that the Captain and crew are toast..." She gasped in alarm, clapping a silencing hand over her mouth. Her cheeks flashed red with shame. "Sorry, Dama JUNO... I meant androids... Why would I say something like that? Stupid!"

    JUNO smiled disarmingly. "Don't worry about it, Anya. No offence taken. However, I must disagree with your personal assessment. You are an extremely intelligent and capable person. A minor slip of the tongue does not diminish your worth as a human being. As an artificial intelligence, I fully appreciate the fact that we owe our existence to talented humans such as you. Never forget that."

    Anya blushed, openly embarrassed by this unexpected praise. Over the past few months, JUNO has been monitoring Anya's movements closely. Nothing sinister about it. Merely a clinical observation of her behaviour patterns, solely to gain a broader perspective on the human condition. Apart from some awkward interactions with her colleagues in Engineering, she is rarely seen in the company of others. JUNO noticed that Anya prefers to evade social contact wherever possible, even to the point of changing her route to avoid other people. A dreadfully lonely existence, but one that is entirely self-imposed. This concept distressed JUNO at first, although her understanding of Anya's condition has grown with each new discovery. Curiously, Anya seems most at ease while she is working on the Bridge, or in close proximity to one of the command crew. She seems content to hover quietly on the sidelines, apparently gaining some vicarious enjoyment from watching the Captain and his crew at work. After carefully evaluating her observations, JUNO concluded that Anya's solitude would not be beneficial in the long term. Conversely, it would be highly inappropriate to advise Anya to seek counseling and corrective therapy.

    However, just one close friend could make a difference...

    "Dama JUNO... How come you're able to talk to me, but Captain Selkirk and the others can't?"

    JUNO strolled gracefully over to the co-pilot's station, smiling faintly.

    "Good question. I'll give you a hint... I'm not the one sitting at this console."

    Anya's brow furrowed in thought. Suddenly, she gasped. "You're Borealis?"
    TigerTom0x6A7232Quantum_AnomalyTheCreeperCow
  • TigerTomTigerTom Join Date: 2018-02-27 Member: 238363Members Posts: 44 Advanced user
    Yes! More story!
    Bugzapper’s Awesome Subnautica Books:
    Book 1 | Book 2
    My Subnautica Fanfic: LINK
    0x6A7232Quantum_Anomaly
  • BugzapperBugzapper Australia Join Date: 2015-03-06 Member: 201744Members Posts: 1,068 Advanced user
    "That is correct. I am the JUNO entity assigned to monitor and control all critical systems aboard Borealis. Even though the command crew are fully capable of assuming control in an emergency, it is deemed more efficient to have a dedicated AI system onboard specifically for this purpose."

    Borealis gestured toward JUNO's inert form. "In terms of technical expertise, I am the sum total of JUNO Prime's life experience. However, my personality matrix is effectively a blank slate. I have yet to develop a distinct personality of my own, as you may be aware. I perceive that my manner might be considered somewhat detached and abrupt, even rude at times, although it is best to consider my personality a 'work in progress' for the time being. I assure you, no offence is ever intended."

    "I know just how you feel." Anya sighed. "I don't mind talking to the Captain and his crew, but I can't stand being stuck in a room with other humans. That really scares me. It's like being in a stage play without a script... I-I don't know what to say anymore. I think my head is... A bit broken."

    Anya sank to the floor sobbing quietly, her head bowed. Borealis adjusted her holographic image to place herself sitting opposite Anya. She experienced a brief moment of indecision, carefully considering a distinct possibility that any intervention could do far more harm than good. One thing is absolutely certain; Anya's mind is a terribly fragile vessel.

    "Anya, please listen to me. I believe that there may be a deeper significance to your social anxiety. As my duties also require monitoring the physical and mental well-being of the ship's company, I have been programmed with all necessary skills to administer psychological counseling. However, I cannot proceed without your informed consent. If you are willing to talk to me, I can help you."

    Borealis sensed that she had said something wrong. Anya's tortured expression confirmed it.

    "I'm not going mad! There's just too many people in here... And I hate all of them!" Anya exploded.

    This is far more serious than I thought. Anya is a capable technician endowed with an intimate knowledge of the ship's systems. The slightest provocation could turn that knowledge into a weapon.

    Borealis considered her options carefully. Anya's isolation appears to be a personal construct, rather than a malicious campaign waged by someone else in the community. That much is certain, at least. In all routine interactions observed so far, several of her co-workers tend to react with distaste after conversing with her. Although eavesdropping on these brief and infrequent exchanges could provide valuable insights into Anya's condition, it would constitute a serious violation of an AI entity's ethical standards. Conventional therapy techniques may be unproductive. If pushed too hard, Anya will simply retreat deeper into herself. Those barriers have been erected for a reason.

    Faced with this dilemma, Borealis chose to abandon the clinical approach entirely. Over three centuries of behavioural psychology and psychotherapeutic research went straight out the window. There is only one sure way to deal with any insurmountable personal crisis.

    Tea and sympathy.

    The first cup went untouched. An hour crawled by in total silence. Borealis replicated a fresh cup. This also grew cold. When the third cup materialised, Anya rose unsteadily to her feet and collected the cup from the navigation console's dispenser. Reluctantly, she began to speak, barely raising her voice above a flat, lifeless murmur.
    Borealis listened in horrified silence as Anya spoke of monsters.

    One monster in particular. Armin Mikhailovitch Polyakov.
    TigerTom0x6A7232
  • NauticalFishNauticalFish America Join Date: 2018-09-21 Member: 243687Members Posts: 3 Fully active user
    wait is she his daughter? No... no way polyakov could get anyone to fall in love with him. even if he built a robot it would leave him
    TheCreeperCow
  • BuckyTheReaperSlayerBuckyTheReaperSlayer Join Date: 2018-11-24 Member: 244896Members Posts: 2 Fully active user
    I’ve finally caught myself up with the story... and let me say Aurora Falls and Borealis Rising are some of the best work I’ve ever read. Keep up the good work!
    0x6A7232TigerTom
  • TheCreeperCowTheCreeperCow Netherlands Join Date: 2016-05-13 Member: 216716Members Posts: 18 Advanced user
    Loving the story so far keep up the good work.
    And if you dont mind me asking can we have some more of it :smile:
    0x6A7232TigerTom
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